One of the men accused of killing Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has confessed to the crime and says he won’t be “going down alone.”
In an interview with Reuters from his jail cell, George Degiorgio said he intends to plead guilty and will implicate others he said were involved in the murder.
Degiorgio also said he would have asked for more money if he had known more about Caruana Galizia, who was killed by a car bomb near her home in October 2017. “If I knew, I would have gone for €10 million, not €150,000,” he said.
“For me it was just business,” Degiorgio said, adding: “Of course I feel sorry.”
Degiorgio was arrested and charged with the murder in December 2017, along with his brother Alfred and an associate, Vince Muscat. Yorgen Fenech, a prominent Maltese businessman, was charged in November 2019 with commissioning the hit.
In February 2021, Muscat was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Before the Reuters interview, Degiorgio and his brother had always denied involvement in the murder.
Caruana Galizia was a thorn in the side of many Maltese politicians, including then-Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who resigned in January 2020.
In 2021, a public inquiry into the handling of the murder ruled that “the state should shoulder responsibility for the assassination.” Though the report found no evidence that Muscat’s government was directly involved in the killing, it described a “favorable climate” for anyone who wanted to “eliminate” the controversial journalist.